- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups is giving Instagram users a chance to win a visit from a robotic candy dispenser shaped like the doorway to a haunted house. The "Reese's Trick-or-Treat Door" hands out candy through its mail slot whenever someone says, "trick or treat," according to an announcement.
- The Hershey-owned brand designed the door to travel through neighborhoods on motorized wheels while being steered by remote control from as much as 5,000 feet away. The nine-foot tall door has a Bluetooth-enabled speaker that responds to voice commands and hands out packs of Reese's candy on a retractable shelf.
- With social distancing a bigger priority this year because of the pandemic, the robotic door allows Reese's to be a part of Halloween even if traditional trick-or-treating is upended. Fans can win a visit from the door by following the @reeses account on Instagram and explaining where they want it delivered in a post that includes the #ReesesDoor hashtag.
Reese's "Trick-or-Treat Door" is a quirky invention to raise awareness for its brand on social media in the spirit of finding new ways to celebrate Halloween this year. Health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend people make festivities safer by taking steps to avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters, though regulations vary by city and state. With the delivery door, Reese's is taking a creative approach to making Halloween a fun occasion that's also safe, a common theme among candy makers this year.
The Hershey-owned brand is asking Instagram users to provide information about where to bring the "Trick-or-Treat Door," an effort that likely will raise awareness for its stunt campaign. As people share posts in the photo-sharing app, there's a greater likelihood other consumers will see the campaign and participate with their own posts. Social sharing has underpinned other recent campaigns on Instagram, such as Lifewtr's effort this month that gave artists a chance to see their creative works shared on the account of the PepsiCo brand of bottled water, and contests by Trident gum and Ferrara Group's Sweetarts candy to engage homebound consumers.
Worries about the pandemic so far haven't diminished candy sales this year, with U.S. sales rising 13% from a year earlier in September, according to market researcher IRI and the National Confectioners Association. That lift was higher than the single-digit gains typically seen as Halloween approaches. The 10-week Halloween sales period generates about 14% of the yearly $36 billion in U.S. sales for candy makers, making the occasion bigger than Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day, Marketwatch reported.
The higher sales may taper off going into the final two weeks of October, which is the busiest time to stock up on candy. It remains to be seen how many people will celebrate Halloween, with 46% of parents saying they plan to let their kids trick-or-treat this year, while 23% are unsure, researcher Piplsay found in a survey of more than 30,000 Americans. As people make their plans, Reese's wants to be top of mind with its "Trick-or-Treat Door" campaign on social media.